Digital, decentralized, and unregulated, cryptocurrencies empower the individual to contribute to the democratization of finance. But what would happen if one crypto ruled them all? Hang on to your hat, because we’re about to get technical.
What is Cryptocurrency, Anyway?
The word ‘cryptocurrency’ comes from the Greek words “kryptos graphein” which means “hidden” and “to write”. Today, there are 15,000 different cryptocurrencies currently rivaling the federal reserve.
Put simply, cryptocurrency—or crypto—is a digital form of payment designed as a medium of exchange to circulate without the need for a central authority such as a government or a bank. It’s decentralized, digital, secure, and anonymous. This is possible thanks to cryptography—an encryption technique powered by blockchain technology. A Blockchain is a database split between different nodes within a computer network. Cryptocurrencies exchange value by transferring crypto tokens between network contributors. Each crypto token exchanged ends up in a public ledger.
By the end of 2021, the total value of cryptocurrencies had reached $2.1 trillion. One bitcoin—the most well known of the cryptocurrencies—is currently worth $40,000+ USD, but has been as high as $69,000.
Corporations Threaten a Redistribution of Currency Power
Governments and central banks are growing wary of the power of cryptocurrencies, and the future of this digital money is uncertain. But even as economies around the world try to curb its growing popularity, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology continue to quietly disrupt industries—among them equity crowdfunding.
As we discussed in our previous blog post, the democratization of finance depends largely on our ability to distribute power into the hands of the people. These new technologies have the potential to help us do just that. But while the general public is only now becoming aware of the true power of crypto, huge corporations have already started a war to try to exploit it.
Facebook is launching Diem, its own cryptocurrency. An unregulated, privately issued cryptocurrency aspiring to compete directly with the central bank. Facebook—a single, extremely powerful corporation—could own your personal and demographic data and all of your bank transactions.
The prospect of this sole ownership over the personal and demographic data of billions of people around the world is terrifying. And it’s not just Facebook—more corporations that size are starting to eye crypto’s potential, and they already have incredible political sway thanks to lobbyism and campaign contributions.
Republic Crypto and the Democratization of Finance
As equity crowdfunding giant Republic makes moves to educate the general public about cryptocurrencies, the platform is also working towards the distribution of the power of this currency. The company is, in fact, divided into three arms: Republic Capital, Republic Co., and Republic Crypto.
Republic Crypto was founded in 2017 to support companies raising capital to finance coin offerings. Republic, thus, is supporting the democratization of finance and encouraging the ideals of the individual by supporting companies that implement their own cryptocurrencies.
Kendrick Nguyen—Republic’s CEO—described their mission to democratize finance quite succinctly: “If you’re a multimillionaire coming to Republic and it’s not worth your time to make a $100 investment but you want to deploy $100,000, we have those opportunities to present to you. If you’re 20 years old, and you want to invest $20 in a video game or in real estate or in a female founder, we have those opportunities, too.”
By catering to the whole of our country instead of the wealthy few, Republic is empowering individuals to add their vote. But the question is not should individual entities enjoy the potent power of owning and regulating the world’s currency, it is which entities we trust.
Anyone participating in cryptocurrencies has a vote. We are voting for all. Republic is voting for all.
Who are you voting for?